The Paley Center for Media, formerly known as The Museum of Television and Radio (MT&R) and The Museum of Broadcasting, is an American cultural center which is dedicated to the development and discussion of creative, social and cultural importance of radio, television and growing platforms for the professional community and media-interested public.
The institution was founded by William S. Paley in 1975 and was renamed The Paley Center for Media on June 5, 2007 to cover emerging broadcasting methods such as the mobile video and Podcasting, the Internet, as well as to expand its part as a neutral setting where media executives and practitioners can join in debate and discussions about the ever changing media landscape.
Instead of collecting memorabilia, the center is composed mostly of screening rooms, including two full-sized theaters. More than 120,000 television programs, advertisements and radio shows are available in the Paley Center's Library. During each visit, people can choose and watch shows at individual consoles, and radio programs are accessed through these same consoles.
The Paley Center for Media does not sell the material or allow it to leave the vicinity. Watching copies of television shows are Hi-8 millimeter video tape dubbing. The original ones are stored in a vault outside of the state of New York, and the collection is converted to digital format. The Paley Center has acquired many lost series of classic television programs and has made documentaries about the impact and history of radio and television.
During the past several years, the center has sponsored advance screening of the pilot episodes of each network's new shows. Some television programs are taken from the 40?s, with shows that date back to the 1920s. The earliest television show in the museum's collection is a silent movie of National Broadcasting Corporation?s 1939 production of the melodrama The Streets of New York (1857), with George Coulouris, Jennifer Jones, and Norman Lloyd.
With a growing collection of broadcast content on television and radio, the Paley Center for Media has two branches - in Los Angeles and New York City. It is committed to the idea that many radio and television programs are crucial works and must be preserved for the sake of posterity.